Sunday Territorian 16 Jun 2013
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Nationwide News Pty. Limited
www.sundayterritorian.com.au Sunday, June 16, 2013. Sunday Territorian. 15 P U B : NTNE-WS-DA-TE:16-JGE:15 CO-LO-R: C-M Y-K Restless nights ahead of an emotional ride Shane Crawford Former Hawthorn star Shane Crawford is on a mission to ride from Melbourne to Perth on a bike in 22 days Picture: MICHAEL KLEIN I HAVE no doubt its going to be a bumpy road. I havent been sleeping too well thinking about it. I think the key to try to make it is resting and sleeping well at night, but obviously theres a lot going on in my mind. When I got back from the run, the Breast Cancer Network Australia gave me a folder of emails and letters of support that I got along the way, and they put it in a book for me. Seriously, I cant even get past a page. The biggest and the toughest thing about the walk was embracing these women cancer patients in the middle of nowhere. Wed be on a main highway and there they were, just parked on the side of the road with their family the whole family in tears, not knowing what was going to happen (to their loved ones health). And youre walking towards them, trying to brace yourself, and realising Ive gotta try to be strong. Its very hard not to get emotional I get emotional at the movies! No matter where we were, after meeting them I would head off on to the highway and just break down. Id have tears rolling down my face. But it made me want to keep going, knowing thats why we were doing it. Will it be easier to prepare for that emotionally this time? No. I can prepare physically, and mentally for it to be very difficult from a riding point of view Im not a regular distance rider, I rode some BMX as a kid but, from a mental point of view, I dont know how you can train for that. Talking about them is still hard because I get very emotional. It was obviously the one thing I wasnt prepared for. I was prepared physically, and had focused on how much money we can make for them to help me get through but after the first couple of days, it became not only a physical challenge but an emotional challenge, trying to be brave around those women. IT ALL came about throughThe Footy Show when we did the Pink Show to raise awareness for the BCNA after two years out of playing AFL footy, still feeling very fit, I thought I would like to help in some way. I was always a fan of the ultra-marathon races from Sydney to Melbourne, with Cliffy Young, the famous po tato farmer, and the Greek god, Yiannis Kouros. And as a kid growing up in the country in Finley (NSW), I remember seeing those races on TV, and people talking about getting themselves from Sydney to Melbourne, and I thought, OK, Ill run. But I wasnt going to put my body through it if it wasnt worth it I said to the BCNA: Youve got to make sure we make some money for the charity. That was initially my only concern Im not going to torture my body if its not going to help. But within the first couple of days of running (after the event kicked off in 2010), meeting the cancer-affected women on the side of the road who were supporting me and getting behind what I was trying to do while fighting for their own lives the money issue went out the window. It was all about giving a bit of hope. It became so inspiring to me. That became a real motiv ation, and its whats making me want to get to Perth (by bike from Melbourne in just 22 days a further distance and quicker time than the Tour de France). The run became about everything. You reflect on your life, your relationships, and how they (the cancer patients) are doing it and how tough theyre doing it, and the battle theyve certainly got ahead of them. I have had friends whose mothers have been affected by breast cancer, some have lost their mothers. There was already that connection for me, but only in a small way before doing the run. A friend of mine has just been told she has breast cancer. I spoke to her yesterday and shes at the stage where shes got all those questions in her head about the future and what happens. One day shes a really fit and active and healthy 30-year-old woman, and the next day shes got to fight for her life. Its out of nowhere, even when things are going well you just dont know whats coming. With a lot of the charities we were involved in through playing footy, wed go into hospital and try to cheer kids up and even going in and seeing terminally ill kids, Id walk out of there with the biggest reality check, thinking just how lucky I had it with my life. D OING this, and prettymuch giving it everything Ive got, making it my sole purpose (running and now with the ride) has been life-changing. Youre taking cancer patients minds off their worries. Even for five or 10 minutes, at least they can follow our journey for however long and focus on something else if they are in a deep, dark place. In fact, I was so totally blown away by the generosity of people (on the run) and also the way people really embraced what we were trying to do thats the reason Ive chosen a slightly longer route from Melbourne to Perth. Bendigo, Mildura, Swan Hill I just know towns such as these will really embrace it. I know country towns, and how theyre like a family, and are so supportive and make an effort for everyone, so I really wanted to include these ones. I havent done anything like this for a couple of years because it took me a long time to recover from the run, and obviously having had twins we now have four boys I needed to be around to help out as much as I possibly could. I was always intending on getting back involved, but I just felt the time was right to do the Perth ride, and it really helps with Channel 9 supporting what Im trying to do. I have seen women who I met on the roadside during the run since at BCNA functions, and a lot of the ones Ive seen have got hair now and its great. The fact is these trips are extremely valuable for the Northern Territory DAVETOLLNER TheNTTreasurer defended hiring a private plane from one of Darwins richest families at a taxpayer cost of $45,000 to fly to China Theyll have to arrestme. Ive never had an offence inmy whole life CLIVE FEATHERBY The fireworks sellerwill still prepare his shops for Territory Day, even though he has been refused a licence I cherishwhat it means to be Australian CADEL EVANS The Territory-born cycling starwas named amember of theOrder of Australia (AM) in theQueens Birthday honours My observation is Australia is actually in rigormortis ANDREWLIVERIS TheDarwin-bornUS business leader says subsidies should be withdrawn fromAustralias ailing car industry sundayterritorian.com.au OPINION
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